It's Time To Get Gigi and Make a Scene.

Have you seen the video of Gigi Hadid recently getting all badassery on some guy in Milan? If not, take a quick moment and watch it. Camera-ready, sweet-as-pie, nice-girl Gigi got tough. She got fired up and not only used her voice to tell this guy off, she got physical. She claimed her space, her body, and was not having any of it. 
 
Watching this video reminded me of a very personal, very real moment I had this summer where I had my own Gigi moment.
 
It happened so fast that it all felt like a blur. I had been out with my friends, one of whom was visiting from New York and I hadn’t seen in a while, when a guy, out of nowhere, grazed his hands over the side of my dress and pulled me right onto his lap. In the same moment, one of the friends we were with whispered in my ear not to worry, because the guy was ‘harmless’ and was a good friend. 
 
As I scooted off the guy’s lap and shifted my attention towards my friends, my thought process went something like this:
 
Who the heck does this guy think he is? Just wave your wedding ring in his face so he gets the hint. Ugh, but you haven’t seen everyone in so long--don’t make this awkward and create a scene. Just give this guy the benefit of the doubt. 
 
So, I stuck it out. I trusted what my friend said. I stayed in my people-pleasing state.
 
What ensued was another 20 minutes or so of very uncomfortable, aggressive advances by this guy.

And then it happened.

He completely crossed the line. He reached his hands out in an effort to grope my chest while announcing I had “nice tits." A real, frickin' gentleman, right ladies?
 
[Cue my New York friend.]
 
Her finger immediately shot off into his face as she fired off some very select, choice words. She told him boldly that she doesn’t care that he is friends with our friend, he has no right to treat women this way, and that she was not going to watch him talk to me or treat me disrespectfully any longer. We were leaving, even if it meant without our other friend. 
 
A wave of feelings flashed over me. Anger. Frustration. Disappointment. And worst of all, shame.
 
I am a self-respecting, happily married woman. I take care of my mind, my body, and my heart. I do not let people manipulate, or walk over me. And in this moment, I felt that I had let myself down. 
 
I felt like I let my husband down. I cried to him the next morning as I told him about what happened. His love and kindness towards me reminded me that I was not responsible for this man’s actions. No, it wasn’t my sexy summer dress that warranted his behavior. No, it wasn’t being out at a bar in downtown Chicago that warranted his behavior. No, it wasn’t anything I did that warranted his behavior. His behavior was his own, and it was not right.
 
I was so concerned about being a good girl, a nice girl, and keeping the peace, that I sat through those uncomfortable 20 minutes before my friend stepped in and did something about it.
 
I was mad that it took my friend to say something before I did. I was mad at our other friend for sitting back and watching this guy disrespect me like that, for telling me he was ‘harmless.’ I was mad that I did not get fired up. I was mad that I didn’t tell him to take his drunken, gropy self home and leave me and my friends alone.

I was mad that I stayed quiet. I was mad that I didn’t make a scene.
 
But you know what? This was my Gigi moment and it taught me a life lesson that I needed to learn.
 
I learned that it is okay to ruffle feathers sometimes. 
I learned to use my voice. To speak up. To say something. To do something. 
I learned that sometimes you need to confront the people you care about, even if they are your friends.
I learned that I am responsible for me. Period.
I learned that my body is worth protecting.

I learned that I am worth fighting for, and so are you.